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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Learning Problem Solving with Friends - Compassion Skills: A Comprehensive Curriculum to Teach Children to Take Others' Perspective and Solve Daily Social Problems by Stephanie C. Chan is an educational activity book that every school needs. It sheds new light on the concept of problem-solving by establishing it as an activity that connects the student’s thoughts, feelings, emotions, and plans. A curriculum based on Contextual Behavioral Science draws pedagogical ideas from the concepts of eminent psychologists to maximize the functional process of problem-solving. In teaching learners to generate supplementary stimuli, problem-solving then sharpens the learner’s ability to visualize, create relational maps, take perspectives, and talk aloud about the thinking and planning process.
Teaching children to develop compassion skills is often neglected and it is high time that this book takes center stage. Stephanie C. Chan strategically structures her curriculum to target specific response chains occasioned by their corresponding social situations. An example of one problem-solving situation that aims to develop compassion is a picture showing a boy who falls from the monkey bars at a school playground. Beside it is a problem-solving map made up of a series of questions that gives learners the freedom to make their own reactions and choices. This type of activity teaches learners to be aware of others and to develop an understanding that their responses and actions can have a positive impact. It has solid visuals that help young people learn and label emotions, as well as deepen their understanding of non-verbal cues to guess how others are feeling. Learning Problem Solving with Friends - Compassion Skills is a must-have educational activity book to help today’s young learners develop much-needed emotional intelligence in today’s challenging and demanding world.